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Tester reports strong quarter in grassroots fundraising

Sen. Jon Tester on Tuesday reported raising more than $2 million for the second consecutive quarter as he gears up for his 2018 bid for reelection.

To date, Tester’s campaign reports having $4.7 million cash-on-hand. Of the contributions to Tester’s campaign, 91 percent donated $100 or less.

“Broad, grassroots support continues to grow for Jon’s campaign, and this filing is the latest sign of that,” said Montanans for Tester Campaign Manager Christie Roberts. “Montanans know Jon has stood up for them on health care and has a record of making responsible decisions and holding Washington accountable. He is grateful for the support from people across the state.”

Roberts said Tester will voluntarily file his FEC report electronically to maintain transparency. Tester introduced legislation which would require members of the Senate to file online, a move Tester says would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

“Tester has led the way in fundraising transparency in the U.S. Senate,” Roberts said. “He launched the Senate Transparency Caucus, and also introduced three pieces of legislation geared toward increasing transparency and accountability when it comes to dark money in U.S. elections.”

Tester has been endorsed by End Citizens United. At a recent panel discussion in Missoula, Tester said outside special interests have already blanketed Montana with roughly $1 million in dark money spent against him.

Several Montana Republicans have stated their intent to run agains Tester in next year’s race, including state Sen. Albert Olszewski. State Attorney General Tim Fox has been courted for a bid but has not stated his intention to run.

According to Politico, Tester’s 2018 race is expected to be one of the most competitive in the country, mainly due to Trump’s 21-point win in Montana in November.

Tester is one of five Senate Democrats facing reelection next year in states that Trump won by double digits.